The Laquila Group has offices in East Flatbush, a heavily black neighborhood, but the owners and top administrators are obviously white. One of its foremen, a guy named Angelo Sicchio, called his black workers niggers and called the ones who had dreadlocks "mop heads" and told them that his bathroom was for "my people," not for them, and made them use separate facilities.
All these are not mere allegations. The case went through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the EEOC negotiated a a $625,000 settlement to be paid out by Laquila to mistreated black workers. The EEOC is very choosey about the cases that it takes.
We should note that on its website Laquila says that among its "valued clients" are CUNY, the State of New York Dormitory Authority, the New York State DoT, which is presumably the Department of Transportation and many other businesses and agencies. Laquila is located just several blocks from Brooklyn College, part of CUNY.
New York City Controller Scott Stringer has been saying minorities in New York should have more opportunities to be contractors with the city. What does he says about a business like Laquila, which is apparently getting public money while many minority contractors say they lack clout and contacts to get deals with government agencies.
By the way, the lady who answers phones at Laquila has been hanging up on anyone asking to speak about this matter. It's not clear where the above mentioned nigger-calling foreman, Angelo Sicchio, is working at the moment.
Here are a few lines from the Daily News: "...a foreman named Angelo Sicchio subjected laborer Walter Franks to multiple racial slurs on nearly a daily basis. He called Franks "Green Mile," after a slow-witted fictional character in a movie, and called another worker with dreadlocks “mophead,” according to the EEOC. After Franks and other workers reported Sicchio's behavior to his supervisor, Jeff Glennon, Sicchio continued the harassment, according to the EEOC."
The Laquila case is really bad, an EEOC official said. In the News article, Charles Coleman Jr., senior trial attorney at the EEOC, says: "The construction industry has remained one of the few bastions of blatant and open racism in the workplace. The attempts to humiliate these courageous claimants are shameful and even after Laquila was on notice of its behavior, they allowed for this disrespect to continue.”
Elected officials haven't been responding to requests for comment. Laquila is located in East Flatbush. Play around on the web and see who the local, state and federal representatives are.
One person who appeared outraged when informed of The Daily News article and the conditions under which the black men had to work was the Rev. Al Sharpton, head of the National Action Network. National Action Network official Rev. Kevin McCall went to Laquila's location in Brooklyn on Wednesday (Dec. 13) to see if he could speak with administrators. Rev. McCall entered the building and said he was given a card and told to call someone who he hopes he will be able to meet with.
Meanwhile, Rev. McCall spoke onto my iPhone. It's recorded here below: